It was a night like any other for those shepherds minding their flock. Some would have been chosen for the night watch, keeping their eyes and ears alert to any potential threat to the herd – bandits and wild animals were among the many dangers. The others would have been searching for a comfortable spot to sleep and stay warm.
In those days, shepherds held little in common with the cute kids we usually see on Christmas Eve – the ones wearing bathrobes and draping towels on their heads and waving to loved ones from the chancel steps.
Shepherding was hard and dirty work; it was lonely and often ostracizing. So, when the angel appears to them with a message that the Messiah has come it must have been a little perplexing to this group of outcasts. What should they do? Oddly enough, they wasted no time in going to “see this thing that had taken place.” And, once they saw the Christ Child, they went with haste to let others know what had been told to them.
“Haste” isn’t a word that’s used much in everyday conversation. It means “speedy,” “rush,” “acceleration,” and “quickness.” Most of us have been moving with great haste this month (or perhaps longer), trying frantically to get ready for family and gift giving and holiday feasts for the Christmas season. While those are all good things for sure, how is operating in haste working for you? Would you like a few moments to ponder some treasured stories? Would you cherish some time to wonder and praise and savor the gift of Christ’s birth?
Join us Tuesday at 11:45 AM. There’s room for you at this inn. The gift of your presence is requested!